7 mayo 2008

Ah, Zivals. Such great service. I ordered a batch of cds there last Friday and they arrived on Tuesday. That's crazy fast from Argentina. Usually it takes exactly a week, which is fast enough. But four days, weekend included? Dang! Props also to DHL. Thanks guys.

In the spirit of my growing collection and also inspired by Alex's blog, I've decided to share some lists of current favorites. Alex proposed a Top 10 Golden Age tango list but I think that's kind of impossible. Instead, today is dedicated to the singers. Who are my favorites right now? I know I'm going to leave out some biggies, both on purpose and inadvertently, but in no particular order:

Carlos Gardel - No explanation needed. He is the king, always will be. Current favorites: Melodia de Arrabal, Canchero.

Angel Vargas - The golden tone of his voice, the expression, the confidence. No singer has done more for an orchestra than Vargas did for D'Agostino. Try listening to a D'Agostino without him and see if it grabs you in the same way. For me, at this moment, it just doesn't. Some current favorites: Como El Hornero, No Vendrá.

Raúl Berón - To me, he is the master of subtlety. He can sing very softly but never loses richness, and his dynamic range makes his strong passages that much more effective. His control can make other fine singers with the same orchestra seem relatively coarse and sloppy (compare his work with Demare alongside that of Horacio Quintana). Some current favorites: Tarareando (with Caló), Una Emoción (with Demare).

Julio Martel - I'm not a big fan of De Angelis and with the notable exception of his valses I tend not to dance when I hear his music come on. But I have to admit, he had a good ear for singers, and my favorite of his group is Martel. There is a kind of unabashed romanticism and earnestness about his voice that moves me. Check out his control with his vibrato and the way he rolls his r's. Some current favorites: Acordes Porteños, La Vida Me Engaño.

Alberto Podesta - I remember very clearly "discovering" Podesta one night at Salon Canning and Nido Gaucho began a tanda. I'm sure I had heard the song many times before but somehow it was as if I'd never really heard it at all until that moment. Such longing! The very next day I went out and bought the cd, and listening to it through I couldn't believe I had somehow missed out on his genius for so long. Until then, I had mostly thought of Di Sarli in terms of his instrumentals. I see him and Berón as musical brothers. It's interesting to compare their renditions of the same song, ie. Al Compás del Corazón. Some current favorites: Lloran Las Campanas (with Di Sarli), Paisaje (with Laurenz).

Ricardo Ruíz - A truly unique voice in tango--sweet, utterly refined, with a kind of eerie, almost androgynous quality. I find that here, in the SF Bay Area, he tends to get passed over on dj playlists in favor of his Fresedian brother Roberto Ray, but it was his voice and the way it complemented the "old movie soundtrack" orchestration that initially drew me to Fresedo. Some current favorites: Buscándote, Volveras.

Well, that does it for now. Next time: The pianists.


Alex said...

hola malevito...

Yeah, DiSarli/Podesta's Nido Gaucho...and Laurenz' Piasaje are two faves that might fall in my "Top Ten"...

I actually started a "top ten" playlist on my iPod/Tunes...lemme see...its got 126 songs in it...oh well...

Malevito said...

Hi Alex, how are you?

Only 126? Oh, come on. 126 x 3 minutes per song = 6.3 hours. Why, that's barely more than one or two milonga's worth!

As for ten, I think I'd have a hard time doing that with a single orchestra, even if I limited it to just tango (no vals or milonga). Thank god--I don't dance enough as it is, how much less would that be if I only loved ten songs?